Export of mangoes to upcountry markets from here is likely to be affected this year for two reasons — due to fog at the flowering stage and later due to strong gales.
According to rough estimates, the crop loss is put at over 50 per cent. Growers, who usually take mangoes on lease from farmers and reap the crop are the worst-hit.
G. Srinivasa Rao, a grower, lamented that he paid more amount for lease than last year but the climatic conditions pushed him into a debt trap. He said that majority of growers paid Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000 per acre as lease amount.
Mango Growers' Association, which markets the fruit in New Delhi and Kolkata, is not sure whether it will be able to utilise or not all the 27 rakes (each rake consists of 42 – 43 box containers) it has indented with the Railways.
Last year, the association utilised the same number of rakes and transported 33,888 tonnes of mangoes. The Railways netted Rs. 4.84 crore then. The freight charge for each rake is Rs.18 lakh this season.
Station Manager D. Jagadeeswar Rao told The Hindu on Wednesday that so far 11 rakes only were sent to New Delhi and the association had scheduled the last (the 27th rake) despatch on June 6.
In 2005, the station registered a record by netting Rs. 6.53 crore by transporting 40,907 tonnes of mango. Again in 2009, the earnings touched its peak of Rs. 6.05 crore, he said and added that this year his expectations were short-lived due to adverse climatic conditions.
Rough estimates put crop loss, due to fog initially and gales later, at over 50 per cent